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Page Reviewed / Updated – June 26, 2020

The 10 Best Assisted Living Facilities in Durham, NC

Durham is part of the Research Triangle in the Raleigh-Durham metro area of North Carolina. The area is home to world-class research universities, such as Duke and North Carolina Central. It’s close enough to the Appalachian Mountains and the Atlantic Coast for day trips to either place. 

There’s plenty to see and do in Durham. The Durham Bulls minor league baseball team has an exciting series of games, and the North Carolina Botanical Garden is a lovely spot to spend the day. Residents of Durham enjoy all four seasons, with winters that can be chilly with some snow and hot summers. 

We’ve gathered our 10 best assisted living facilities in the Durham area to help you or a loved one find the perfect fit. Additionally, find out more about the cost of assisted living in Durham and what financial assistance programs are available.

The Stratford

The Stratford is a community on 3 acres of quiet surroundings in the heart of Tar Heel Country. A regularly scheduled senior shuttle transports residents to the walkable downtown area or UNC Hospital campus. The Stratford is an all-inclusive community, taking care of everything from housekeeping and linen services to meal preparation. The beauty parlor and barbershop help residents look their best, while the fitness center allows them to feel their best. Thoughtful care from attentive staff encourages seniors to maintain as much independence as possible. A comprehensive activity and social calendar offers opportunities to socialize or engage in a favorite hobby. 

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Atria Southpoint Walk

Residents at Atria Southpoint Walk are encouraged to take in everything the community offers, whether it's an off-site trip to the Durham Performing Arts Center, or meeting new friends over cards or a game of bingo. The experienced staff is always available to lend a discreet hand with dressing or personal care, and a skilled nurse is on-site for wellness checks and to oversee medication management. Spacious apartments designed with the safety and mobility of the elderly in mind, have cable TV and internet plus an emergency call button. A sunny garden and patio provide space to enjoy the fresh air and walk their pets. 

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Brookdale Durham

Seniors living at Brookdale Durham can age in place if their needs change, with the peace of mind knowing they won't have to leave friends and familiar surroundings. Trained caregivers are available 24-7 to assist with mobility, hygiene and diabetic oversight, while the nurse on staff during business hours can diagnose illnesses and give wellness checks. Guests of residents are always invited to visit and enjoy a made-from-scratch meal in the community dining room. There's plenty of fun to be had here, too, with activities like wine and cheese socials, cooking classes and workouts to challenge both the brain and the body. 

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  • Party space for community celebrations or private use
  • Resident parking and transportation provided

LiveWell at Coker Hills

We've placed LiveWell on our list for its beautiful location in a leafy area surrounded by nature, as well as the rave reviews consistently given the compassionate, friendly staff. This is a smaller assisted living community that offers a close feeling of home. Available activities include gardening, photography and live music, with input from residents about their favorite pastimes. The lifestyle here is founded on a philosophy of "thriving in place," helping seniors find joy and meaning in daily life. Road trips and excursions into the community are regularly scheduled, including trips to worship centers. Residents also participate in community service. 

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Croasdaile Village

We included Croasdaile Village because it's a newly constructed facility that's purposefully designed for assisted living. The private apartments include safety features and emergency call buttons, and the garden offers a secure place to take in the sunshine and fresh air. Croasdaile seniors have two options for dining, both of which feature tasty creations prepared by trained chefs. Life enrichment caters to the interests and hobbies of residents and includes games to keep wits sharp, and exercises to keep bodies healthy. Volunteering is encouraged here, with opportunities to teach a class, participate in a community theater performance or act as a dinner host. 

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Carolina Meadows

Carolina Meadows offers Medicare-approved health care and services on-site, so residents can receive treatment without leaving home. In-house doctors, nurses, physical therapists and a podiatrist provide care on an individual basis, and there are medical professionals on staff around the clock. The community lifestyle features lifelong learning programs that allow residents to branch out and learn new things or explore favorite interests. A vibrant physical fitness program, featuring activities such as golf, yoga and swimming, means seniors here have a variety of options to stay healthy. For those who need a little help with daily life, licensed caretakers are always ready to lend a hand.

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Carolina Reserve of Durham

Welcome to California Reserve of Durham, a vibrant assisted living community with a daily life program that encompasses all aspects of wellness and care. Residents contribute to the scheduled programs by communicating what they enjoy doing, and what they'd like to try. A typical day here may include a yoga class, gardening outdoors in the fresh air and playing chess or bingo with friends. Each private apartment is equipped with internet and cable, so seniors who wish to may simply relax in solitude. Compassionate care from friendly staff and 24-hour supervision mean that resident needs can be quickly met. Transportation is also provided. 

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  • Pet-friendly community
  • Fresh, seasonal fare made from locally sourced ingredients

Eno Pointe Assisted Living

Thoughtful, attentive staff and a lovely facility are two of the characteristics that stand out among reviews of Eno Point, and the reason that it's part of our 10 best. The community is located just minutes from Duke Hospitals, and the on-site services here include medication management, diabetic monitoring and emergency assistance. Eno Point partners with Doctors Making Housecalls, which provides residents with medical attention, podiatry services and physical therapy, without having to leave home. Diagnostic services and lab tests are  included. Delicious chef-prepared meals are created with balanced ingredients and plenty of variety. Transportation and parking are provided. 

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  • All-inclusive services  
  • Activities include live music, devotional services and movie nights

Brookdale Meadowmont

At Brookdale Meadowmont, seniors are encouraged to sustain social relationships and friendships, whether it's meeting new people at a Happy Hour or community party or joining a planned activity, such as participating in a cooking class in the community kitchen. The covered porch, filled with flowers and rocking chairs, is an ideal place to sip a morning cup of coffee or while away the afternoon with a good book. An on-site beauty parlor and barbershop help residents always look their best. Group trips to places like the North Carolina Botanical Garden and Bulls baseball games are regularly scheduled. 

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The Addison of Durham

The Addison is a charming senior living community tucked in the heart of town, giving seniors quick access to shopping, pharmacies and entertainment. Residents receive skilled nursing care and professional assistance whenever they need it, whether it's treating an illness or an escort to meals or group activities. Outside, the private lawn and patio are secured for resident safety. Physical movement and fitness are important to preserving residents' health and the group walking clubs, yoga and balance classes here make exercising fun. Learning and discovery through daily trivia and visiting lecturers help seniors keep their wits sharp. 

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  • VA benefits consultations available
  • Assistance with making doctor's appointments and transportation are provided

The Cost of Senior Living and Care in Durham

The cost of senior care in Durham is relatively pricey, with most types of care costing more here than in the state as a whole. According to the Genworth 2018 Cost of Care Survey, the cost of nursing home care in Durham is about $275 higher than the state average, and adult day health care costs about $330 more than the state average. Home care accounts for the most significant difference in price, with average monthly services costing $620 more in Durham than in the state as a whole. Assisted living is relatively affordable here, however, with average monthly costs in Durham coming in nearly $550 below the state average.

Compared to the national average, senior care in Durham is fairly affordable. Assisted living in Durham costs about $850 below the national average of $4,000 per month, and nursing home care in this city is about $200 less than the national average of $7,441 per month. Adult day health care in this city is roughly on par with the national median cost of $1,560. Home care in Durham is more costly than in the nation as a whole, with average costs coming in about $140 higher than the national median of $4,004 per month. 

How much does Assisted Living Cost in Durham?

The cost of assisted living in Durham is below the median of the major cities surveyed, with average monthly costs coming in at $3,150. More affordable care may be found in Fayetteville, Burlington and Rocky Mount, where average monthly costs range between $2,750 and $3,100. Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro and Winston are pricier cities for this level of care, with the cost of care ranging between $3,803 and $5,750. 

How much does Home Care Cost in Durham?

Of the cities surveyed, Durham is the most costly for home care services. On average, homemaker services cost $4,147 per month or $21.75 per hour, versus the statewide average of $3,527 per month or $18.50 per hour. The most affordable care is found about 80 miles away in Rocky Mount, where the average monthly cost for homemaker services is $3,214. In Raleigh, which is just 20 miles away, this type of care costs a little less than $3,800 per month.

How much does Adult Day Care Cost in Durham?

Durham is an expensive city for adult day care. In fact, of the major cities surveyed, Durham was the priciest city for this type of senior care, with the average monthly cost coming in a little over $1,500. The closest city with more affordable care is Raleigh, which is about 20 miles away at $1,192 per month. The most affordable city for this type of care is Fayetteville, 90 miles away, where, the average monthly cost for adult day health care is well below $900. 

How much does Nursing Home Costs in Durham?

While nursing home care in Durham costs almost $300 more than the statewide average, it is near the median cost of the cities surveyed. The most expensive city for this level of care is Greensboro, where seniors and families pay about $700 more. The cheapest city for nursing home care is Fayetteville, which is about 90 miles away. Nursing home costs in this city are well over $1,000 lower per month than in Durham. 

Financial Assistance Programs in Durham

Medicaid Program in Durham

Low-income seniors in Durham may receive free or low-cost health insurance through the state’s Medicaid plan. While Medicaid used to only provide financial assistance for seniors residing in nursing homes, the program has expanded to also cover services provided in residential care settings, including assisted living facilities and adult foster care homes. The Personal Care Services Program, which is part of the state Medicaid program, covers care services received by those who need assistance with the activities of daily living.  

To qualify for Medicaid, Durham seniors must be U.S. citizens and permanent residents of North Carolina, and they must meet income and asset guidelines. As of 2019, single applicants could have a monthly income of up to $1,041 and up to $2,000 in countable assets. If both spouses are applying for Medicaid coverage, the income limit is $1,409 per month, and the countable asset limit is $3,000. The applicant’s home, personal belongings, pre-paid funeral arrangements and one vehicle are excluded from the asset total.

Those whose income and assets are outside of Medicaid’s eligibility requirements may still qualify for Medicaid. The Medically Needy Pathway, also called the spend-down program, allows those whose income is over the limit to put their excess income toward medical expenses. Once they’ve spent down their income to Medicaid’s income limit, the program covers the rest of their medical bills. Those whose income and assets are both over Medicaid’s limits may receive services through Medicaid planning.  The state Medicaid plan, including the Personal Care Services Plan, is an entitlement, which means that all who are eligible for the program are guaranteed to receive covered services. Seniors may contact their local Division of Social Services at (919) 560-8000.  

Other Financial Assistance Programs in Durham

Community Alternatives Program for Disabled Adults

The Community Alternatives Program for Disabled Adults is a Medicaid waiver program that provides services to adults over the age of 18 who are at risk of being placed in an institutional setting. Some services covered by this program include adult day health care, personal aide services, meal preparation and delivery and respite services.

Medicaid’s income and asset eligibility limits apply to this waiver program. 

Unlike regular Medicaid, CAP/DA has an enrollment limit, and eligible applicants may be placed on a waiting list until services become available to them. To learn the full scope of the services covered, visit our CAP/DA guide or contact the local Division of Social Services at (919) 560-8000.  

Caregiver Alternatives to Running on Empty

The Caregiver Alternatives to Running on Empty program is a state-funded program for caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Some services covered by this program include respite care, caregiver education and caregiver assessments. 

To be eligible for Project C.A.R.E., the one receiving care must have been diagnosed by a doctor to have Alzheimer’s or dementia. There are no age requirements and no income requirements, though those with low income may be given priority. 

This program has limited funding, and eligible applicants may be placed on a waiting list. For more information about Project C.A.R.E, caregivers may visit our guide or contact the Duke Family Support Program at (919) 660-7510 or (800) 646-2028.

Special Assistance In-Home Program for Adults

The Special Assistance In-Home Program for Adults program provides a cash supplement to low-income individuals who are at risk of being placed in a residential care setting. Applicants undergo an assessment that evaluates their functional ability, their ability to obtain care and support from loved ones and formal service providers and their ability to pay for housing. 

To be eligible for this program, applicants must be U.S. citizens, residents of North Carolina and at least 65 years of age. They must need adult home level care as verified by their doctor but wish to remain in their home. Additionally, while this program is not part of Medicaid, applicants must meet Medicaid’s income and asset eligibility requirements. 

Funding for this program is limited, and eligible applicants may be placed on a waiting list. Seniors may find more information on SA/IH in our guide or contact the local Division of Social Services at (919) 560-8000.  

Special Assistance Program

The Special Assistance Program provides a cash supplement for low-income seniors, which may be used toward the cost of care in a residential setting. Those with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia who reside in a special care unit in a licensed adult care home may receive a different rate of assistance through this program. 

To be eligible for this program, applicants must be 65 or older and reside in a facility that is approved to receive funds from this program, and the facility must agree to accept the state rate for special assistance residents.

Eligible applicants are not guaranteed to receive services and may be placed on a waiting list until services are available to them. To learn more about this program, review our guide or contact the local Division of Social Services at (919) 560-8000. 

In-Home Aide Services

The In-Home Aide Services program provides support for those who need assistance with the activities of daily living. Some services provided by this program include personal care services like bathing and dressing and home management services like cleaning and cooking. Services are provided by an in-home aide from a licensed home care provider.

To qualify, applicants must be at least 60 years of age, live in their own home and require assistance with essential activities of daily living. There are no income or asset limits for this program. Because this program has limited funding, an applicant’s eligibility does not guarantee that they will receive services. Find out more information regarding this program in our guide or contact the local Division of Social Services at (919) 560-8000. 

More Senior Living Resources in Durham

Resource Phone Number Description
Maplewood Square (919) 402-1684  Maplewood Square manages 32 one- and two-bedroom affordable and energy efficient apartments for seniors in Durham. Occupancy is restricted to adults age 55 and over whose income is less than 60 percent of the median area income. 
Durham County Tax Administration (919) 560-0300 Durham County Tax Administration provides two property tax relief programs for seniors, including the Elderly/Disabled Homestead Exemption and the Circuit Breaker Elderly/Disabled Deferment Program.
Emergency Energy Funds (919) 560-8000 The Durham County Department of Social Services Emergency Energy Funds provides financial assistance with past-due energy bills for low-income residents of Durham. Seniors may also receive kerosene vouchers through this program.
Durham Hosiery Mills (919) 682-4866 Durham Hosiery Mills, which is located in a historic mill complex that was built in 1898, provides 151 apartment homes for low-income seniors age 62 and over. 
Morehead Hills Apartments (919) 683-2713 Morehead Hills Apartments is comprised of 75 one- and two-bedroom units for low-income seniors age 62 and over. Rent is based on income and includes utilities.
 JFK Towers (919) 477-9813 JFK Towers provides affordable housing for seniors age 62 and up. Residents’ rent is based on income, and the rent amount includes a utility allowance. 

For additional information and planning, please read our comprehensive guide to paying for senior care in North Carolina.